Russian ships will house Expo visitors

March 29, 1992|By New York Times News Service

Organizers of Expo '92 in Seville, Spain, have turned to an unlikely source to expand their supply of hotel rooms -- the Government of Russia, which is dispatching seven Volga River cruise ships to be used as floating hotels for the international exposition.

The ships are to arrive in Seville shortly before the world's fair begins on April 20, and will remain until it closes on Oct. 12, providing 2,000 beds, according to CORAL, the central hotel reservations system for Expo '92. All will be equipped with air-conditioned cabins, each with a private bathroom, refrigerator and stereo, as well as laundry service, medical care and other services.

More than 17 million people are expected to attend Expo '92 on the island of La Cartuja, which lies between two branches of the Guadalquivir River in Seville.

Although 20 new hotels have opened in anticipation of the event, the organizers said they still expect a shortage of accommodations, particularly for those who prefer not to pay the price of four- and five-star hotel luxury. On the cruise ships, 80 percent of the accommodations will be in double rooms priced at about $242 a night, including daily breakfast.

The complex of seven ships, called the Volga Quivir resort, is to be berthed at a pier on the Guadalquivir River 10 minutes from downtown Seville and 15 minutes from the exposition. Shuttle service to the event is to be provided on catamarans. Reservations can be made through travel agents.

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